The Star Early Edition

Tragic truth must be shared

- Crime · Society

LAST week we car­ried the hor­ri­ble story of a farmer ac­cused of rap­ing a do­mes­tic worker and forc­ing her to en­gage in bes­tial­ity. Ear­lier in the week there was the sen­tenc­ing of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jack­son, two farm­ers who shoved a black man in a cof­fin and threat­ened to set it alight.

We’ve re­cently had the story of the “House of Hor­rors”, re­fer­ring to the court case in which a Springs cou­ple face an ar­ray of charges of ne­glect­ing and abus­ing their chil­dren over many years, and last week, the face of Kobus Koeke­moer, the step­fa­ther who stands ac­cused of the abuse and death of a three-year-old girl called Pop­pie, stared out at read­ers.

Why, some read­ers have asked, do we do this? Is there not “bet­ter” news we can pub­lish?

We ap­pre­ci­ate that sto­ries like these are up­set­ting, and we apol­o­gise if any­one feels of­fended.

But the sad re­al­ity is that for all the good peo­ple there are in our com­mu­ni­ties, there are bad peo­ple in our midst as well.

This is borne out by the crime sta­tis­tics, and we know it from our own and oth­ers’ shared ex­pe­ri­ences.

Be­hind closed doors in our neigh­bour­hoods, there are rapists and abusers; down the road, some­one may be held up and robbed; and mur­der con­tin­ues to drive fear into our hearts.

There are peo­ple whose crim­i­nal and an­ti­so­cial ac­tions are driven by their hate for oth­ers based on race or other dif­fer­ences, and there are those who don’t care about the law and the rights of oth­ers be­cause of greed.

And then there are those whose emo­tional in­tel­li­gence is so low that they ne­glect, abuse and even beat help­less chil­dren to death.

It is tragic, but it is true, and to close our eyes to it, no mat­ter how up­set­ting, is wrong.

For this rea­son we will con­tinue to pub­lish sto­ries which we be­lieve are im­por­tant talk­ing points in and around our city, and hope that by so do­ing we grow aware­ness, and help in some small way to pre­vent crime.

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